The Lord's Ordering of a Good Man's Steps
Psalm 37:23
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.


1. If you will examine this psalm, you will have no difficulty in ascertaining what the writer means by a good man. "He trusts in the Lord and does good; he delights himself also in the Lord; commits his way unto the Lord; trusts also in Him; rests in the Lord; and waits patiently for Him."

2. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." Many persons never think of this; some deny it altogether; and perhaps most of us often forget it, and thus lose the comfort of it (Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 20:24).

(1) This plan is individual. There is not an item in our daily life which is not comprehended. Our joys, our sorrows, our associates, our connections, our wanderings, our acts, our thoughts; my life, your life, is Divinely ordered.

(2) It is special as it is comprehensive, The good man is Divinely directed in his everyday procedure, in his going out and coming in, his lying down and rising up, his successes and failures, his joys and sorrows, his trials and triumphs, his birth and death.

(3) It is benevolent. God overrules all agents and all events for the well-being of His people. God's plan is great in its conception, great in the Divine skill by which it is shaped and worked out; above all, great in the momentous issues it prepares. But remember it is good as it is great. What a thought is this for us to cherish! What instigations does it add to send us onward in everything that constitutes our excellence!

II. THE LIFE OF A GOOD MAN IS DIVINELY APPROVED. "He delighteth in his way." This is understood by some to mean that the good man delights in the way of the Lord. I think the words mean that the Lord delights in the way of the good man. The good man delights himself in the Lord, and the Lord delights in him.

1. He delighteth in his way, because it is formed and fashioned according to the will of God, and is directed by His own Spirit.

2. He delighteth in his way, because it manifests His glory. "The heavens declare the glory of God." But more of God and His glory may be seen in the life of a good mail than can be seen in the material universe. You see in him all that can be seen in the material creation, but you see in him what cannot be soon in it; and, moreover, you see more clearly what can.


1. The possibility implied. "Though he fall." A good man, in this world of changes and reverse, may get prostrated by misfortune and distress; he may sink very low as to worldly circumstances; he may, like Job, be stripped of everything, or, like Joseph, put in prison. In this life disasters are to be expected, and it forms no part of God's plan to prevent them. They are intended for the benefit of the good man; they are the refiner's fire.

2. The truth expressed. "He shall not be utterly cast down." He may fall; he may be cast down; but he shall not be prostrated wholly, not be thrown down for ever. The good man must expect to suffer, but not perish (vers 9, 10, 13, 15, 17, 20).

3. The reason. "The Lord upholdeth his hand," or, "is holding him up by his hand," or, "upholdeth him with His hand." "Thou hast holden me by my right hand." God not only sustains the good man in particular emergencies, but He is his constant and habitual upholder (vers. 12, 18, 21). He has always a hold on his hand. He never lets it go.

(P. Griffiths.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.

WEB: A man's goings are established by Yahweh. He delights in his way.

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